Market Information Service

Towards greater transparency in the tropical timber markets

The ITTO Tropical Timber Market (TTM) Report, an output of the ITTO Market Information Service (MIS), is published in English every two weeks with the aim of improving transparency in the international tropical timber market. The TTM provides market trends and trade news from around the world, as well as indicative prices for over 400 tropical timber and added-value products.



1-15 May 2013

Top story

Addressing China’s unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable international trade

Addressing China’s unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable international trade
China's foreign trade has grown robustly over the past 20 years and the country has established itself as a major trading nation.

While foreign trade makes an important contribution to China's economic and social development this trade is unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable according to China’s Ministry of Commerce.

It is recognised that the competitiveness of labour intensive industries in developing counties has improved to such an extent that these countries can compete very effectively with Chinese exporters.

The Ministry says China’s core export competitiveness is not strong because the quality, grade and value-added  is not high, the capacity of private sector R & D is weak and designs are generally below international standards. Plans have been drawn up to transform the structure of China’s foreign trade growth.

Also in this issue

  • EUTR less onerous than some CoC procedures
  • ​SVLK undermining Indonesian export competitiveness        
  • Indian companies scout raw materials in Myanmar and Vietnam     
  • Brazil’s forest inventory to be updated by 2016
  • Japan’s consumer confidence index unexpectedly slides
  • European plywood imports fell 10% in 2012
  • Speculation on future of the European trade in Chinese plywood
  • Decline in US home builders’ confidence index despite housing market recovery

Data snapshot


Planted forest area brazil eucalyptus pine SFM

Data source: Department of Statistics, Malaysia

Malaysia’s exports of wood products in 2012, at RM 20.2 billion, were marginally higher than the RM19.8 billion in 2011, a good result given the weakness in global markets in 2012.

This export performance is all the more noteworthy as furniture exports topped the list once again at RM 6.5 bil. Traditionally, the United States is a top importer of Malaysian furniture but in 2012 efforts to beat the global recession succeeded as new markets were found in Russia, the Middle East countries and neighbouring Asian countries.

The Malaysian Department of Statistics data reveals that the six products shown in the figure above accounted 89% of all wood product exports. The combined value of woodbased panel exports, even with the massive contribution from plywood exports (RM 5.1 bil.), only account for just 32% of total wood product exports.



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